Today we are going to have a look at “there was” and “there were” to see exactly when and how to use them. Oggi studieremo “there was” e “there were” per sapere quando e come usarli esattamente.
We use “there was” and “there were” when we want to say something existed or something was present in the past. Usiamo “there was” e “there were” quando vogliamo dire che qualcosa è esistito o era presente nel passato.
* Remember that “there was” and “there were” refer to the past and are the past tense of “there is” and “there are”. * Ricorda che “there was” e “there were” sono il passato di “there is” e “there are”.
– We use there was with singular nouns. For example: Usiamo “there was” con i sostantivi singolari. Ad esempio:
There was a big garden in the front of the house. C’era un giardino grande davanti alla casa.
There was a man at the bus stop. Alla fermata dell’autobus c’era un uomo.
– We use there were with plural nouns. For example: Usiamo “there were” con i sostantivi plurali. Ad esempio:
There were many travel guides at the bookshop yesterday. Ieri c’erano molte guide di viaggio in librería.
There were seven hundred people at the convention last week. La settimana scorsa al convegno c’erano 700 persone.
Look at this dialogue between Eric (E) and Pam (P) to see how to use “there was” and “there were” in conversation:
E: Were there many people at the show, Pam? C’era molta gente allo spettacolo Pam?
P: Yes, it was packed. You should have come! There was enough room in the car for you. Sì era pieno. Saresti dovuto venire! C’era posto anche per te in macchina.
E: I know, I just didn’t feel like going out. There was a great film on TV last night anyway. Lo so, ma non avevo voglia di uscire. Comunque c’era un bel film in tele ieri sera.
P: There were amazing decorations set up too around the stage area and there was a new guitar player who I hadn’t seen before. C’erano anche delle meravigliose decorazioni tutt’intorno al palco e un nuovo chitarrista che non avevo mai visto prima.
E: It sounds great. Next time I might come along. Sembra meraviglioso. Magari la prossima volta vengo anche io.
As you can see, we make questions by placing “was” or “were” at the beginning of the sentence followed by “there.”
• Were there many people at the show? C’era molta gente allo spettacolo?
• Was there anything good on TV last night? C’era qualcosa di bello alla tele ieri sera?
To form the negative we add “not” to “was” or “were” to form “was not” or “were not.” Alternatively, you can use the contracted forms “wasn’t” or “weren’t”. Look at some examples:
• There were not / There weren’t many people at the show. Non c’era molta gente allo spettacolo.
• There was not / wasn’t anything good on TV last night. Non c’era niente di bello alla tele ieri sera.